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Stop Sharing Jesus!
by Maeve McDonald
Christians are commissioned to share the good news about Jesus with those who do not know Him (Matt 28:19; Act 1:8). But with the rising tide of pluralism and political correctness in our society, the concept of "sharing" Jesus is taking on new meaning. A growing number of Christians are starting to feel guilty about claiming Jesus as theirs and theirs alone, when lots of people from other religious and cultural backgrounds lay claim to Him also. In this context, "sharing Jesus" means showing tolerance towards other viewpoints on who He is. Rather than hogging Him for our Christian selves, shouldn't we share Jesus with people from other faiths and cultures, and free Him from a Westernized strait-jacket? Why should He be confined to our Christian churches with stained-glass and rows of pews, anyway? Isn't it unreasonable and, quite frankly, arrogant to think that we have all the answers about who He is? I hear this type of sentiment expressed more frequently now that cultural sensitivity is beginning to trump Scriptural accuracy more often in our churches.
There are indeed many different perspectives on who Jesus is that exist throughout the world—we may even encounter differing ideas among our friends or in our own neighborhoods. Our Muslim neighbors may revere Him as a great prophet. Our Mormon friends may proclaim Him to be their Savior. Agnostics may admire His moral teachings, but deny any certainty of His divinity. Spiritualists and
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New Agers may believe Him to be divine, but reject His uniqueness. And Jehovah’s Witnesses may tell you He is an archangel. We may even find varying opinions about Jesus within the Christian community. Living in the DC-metro area, and having worked in international development and missions, I have been exposed to a diversity of opinion on who Jesus is.
The fact is, however, these conflicting views on who He is cannot all be right. While it might make us feel more comfortable to adopt a politically-correct attitude towards Jesus' identity, it makes no logical sense. He's either the Son of God or He isn't. The lunatic, liar or Lord trilemma comes to mind! But in an era of cultural relativism, the idea that there is absolute truth about who Jesus is, is widely deemed intolerant, narrow-minded, offensive, even bigoted. Many Christians, therefore, shrink away from making absolute statements about Jesus these days.
Rooted in the rise of relativism and pluralism in our culture is the interfaith movement, which attempts to bring about unity between otherwise opposing believe systems through an exploration of the mystical elements in all religions and identifying the common ground between them. In this context, the bible cannot be treated as the supreme authority on matters of faith…